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Thursday September 6, 2018

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MONITOR


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Legalized Cannabis

What commercialization is doing to cannabis

In 2012, Colorado legalized cannabis and added to what has fast become a multibillion-dollar global industry for all things weed-related: from vape pens to brownies and beyond. But to say that we've legalized marijuana is subtly misleading -- what we've really done is commercialized THC, says educator Ben Cort, and that's led to products that are unnaturally potent. In an eye-opening talk, Cort examines the often unseen impacts of the commercial cannabis industry -- and calls on us to question those who are getting rich off of it. Ben Cort focuses on marijuana education and consulting in the substance use disorder treatment field.


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Problem Solving

Machine learning the solution to networking problems

Computers can now learn to solve networking problems for themselves, a study from the University of Waterloo has found. “There are several challenges in computer and telecommunication networks, such as network security, network management, and traffic engineering,” said Raouf Boutaba, a professor in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at Waterloo. “The use of machine learning in this context will make networks more secure, better managed, and provide a better quality of service.”


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AI

Getting your TV to understand you better

New research out of the University of Waterloo has found a way to improve the voice query understanding capabilities of home entertainment platforms. The research, in collaboration with the University of Maryland and Comcast Applied AI Research Lab, uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to achieve the most natural speech-based interactions with TVs to date. “Today, we have become accustomed to talking to intelligent agents that do our bidding – from Siri on a mobile phone to Alexa at home. Why shouldn’t we be able to do the same with TVs?” asked Jimmy Lin, a professor at the University of Waterloo and David R. Cheriton Chair in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science.





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Widespread Disruption

Disruption has reshaped the corporate sector

The roles of employees and their required skills are also changing. And policy-makers face critical new challenges - By Anup Srivastava

The Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary is one of the leading business education institutions in Canada. Over the coming weeks, faculty from the school will share insights from their research that help readers understand what's happening in our economy. Corporations evolve a lot differently today than the world's most valuable companies did 50 years ago. The changes are a result of widespread disruption.


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Economy

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 1/2 per cent

The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 11/2 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 3/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 1 1/4 per cent.
CPI inflation moved up to 3 per cent in July. This was higher than expected, in large part because of a jump in the airfare component of the consumer price index. The Bank expects CPI inflation to move back towards 2 per cent in early 2019, as the effects of past increases in gasoline prices dissipate. The Bank’s core measures of inflation remain firmly around 2 per cent, consistent with an economy that has been operating near capacity for some time. Wage growth remains moderate. 


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Campus Food

Planters Canada and Mr. Peanut Team Up with Ontario University Athletics

Promoting healthy habits; physical and mental fitness coupled with smart snacking

Planters has announced a partnership with the Ontario University Athletic Association (OUA) to promote healthy eating and active lifestyles among students. “Creating good eating habits as young adults is paramount to long term wellness and Planters is proud to introduce our line of healthy nuts and snack options to time starved students” says Don Lock, VP Sales & Marketing, Johnvince Foods.


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Mental Illness

How data is helping us unravel the mysteries of the brain

Geneticist Steve McCarroll wants to make an atlas of all the cells in the human body so that we can understand in precise detail how specific genes work, especially in the brain. In this fascinating talk, he shares his team's progress -- including their invention of "Drop-seq," a technology that allows scientists to analyze individual cells at a scale that was never before possible -- and describes how this research could lead to new ways of treating mental illnesses like schizophrenia.





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Trade

The Two Key Issues on The Table To Bring Canada Back Into NAFTA

by Prof. Michael von Massow

Negotiations for a revised North American Free Trade Agreement have been ongoing for more than a year, but now it’s crunch time — especially for Canada. What happens in the coming days will determine if NAFTA survives as a three-country trade pact or whether Canada will be left on the sidelines. Since U.S. President Donald Trump announced the United States had a deal with Mexico that could replace NAFTA, Canadian negotiators have been putting on a brave face publicly. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was optimisitc when talks took a break before the Labour Day weekend and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said “no NAFTA deal is better than a bad NAFTA deal.”


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By The Numbers

Rankings of Intelligent Communities by Population

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) released a comprehensive ranking of intelligent communities grouped by population, the first list of its kind since the New York-based think-tank began its research on intelligent community development over twenty years ago. The Top 10 Intelligent Communities By Population list is the latest publication in ICF’s By the Numbers series. It provides a useful guide to the relative strengths of communities in ICF’s network and an inspiration for greater progress in coming years. Future By the Numbers rankings of intelligent communities will be released by ICF in the coming months.


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Conditions

Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program Cancelled

Following the decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on the Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program, John Yakabuski, Minister of Transportation, issued the following statement: "Ontario cancelled the cap and trade program to bring gas prices down and help lower costs for Ontario families and businesses. As a result, on July 11, 2018, the Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program was cancelled.


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Managing Debt

Survey Finds Ontarians Still Pessimistic About Economy, Remain Burdened by Debt

Despite Some Positive Gains, Many at Risk in the Event of Changing Financial Circumstances

Working Canadians, and Ontarians, seem to be making some minor progress towards improving their financial health. But while 66% nationally report being in a better financial position than a year ago, Canadian employees, and those in Ontario, continue to have high debt levels, chronically undersave for retirement, and put themselves at severe risk in the event of economic changes. Bolstered in large part by a stronger economy, confidence among working Canadians has increased recently. 39% nationally believe their local economy will improve (up slightly from the three-year average of 36%), not surprising given the strong economic market conditions experienced in Canada in the past few years. Yet Ontarians have among the lowest economic confidence nationally; just 35% think their local economy will improve in the next year.


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Gamified Safety

New U of G Virtual Game Teaches Kids Pedestrian Safety

U of G researchers have developed a fully immersive 3-D virtual reality game proven to teach kids where and how to cross streets safely. “Parents tend to overestimate their child’s ability to navigate traffic safely,” said lead researcher Prof. Barbara Morrongiello, Director of the Child Development Research Unit at U of G. “But the reality is that children aren’t always familiar with the best strategies for how to cross safely, and it’s a problem because parents are assuming kids are more competent than they are.” That means parents may allow their children to walk to school on their own before they are ready to do so safely, she added.


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Survey

Employed Canadians Failing to Take Advantage of Improved Financial Picture to Reduce Debt or Save More for Retirement

Many at Risk in the Event of Higher Interest Rates or an Economic Downturn

Working Canadians seem to be making some minor progress towards improving their financial health. But, while 66% report being in a better financial position than a year ago, their debt levels remain high, they chronically undersave for retirement, and put themselves at severe risk in the event of economic changes.


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Time & Money

Is There a Correlation between Managing Time and Managing Money?

by Ann Marie Sabath

You can tell a lot about people based on how they manage their time. The ones who are notoriously late are the same people who are consistently a dollar short. They possess neither a mastery of time nor money. Oftentimes, you can identify these individuals based on their actions and surroundings. While these people represent a variety of socioeconomic classes, they have one common denominator: disorganization! For instance, the system—or lack thereof—of how you pack a suitcase and organize what is in your wallet are reflections of how you manage both your time and money. Let me give you a few examples:





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WATERCOOLER


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Environment

The rare Charitable Research Reserve and WWF Partner to Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants

The rare Charitable Research Reserve and World Wildlife Fund Canada have partnered to make more room for biodiversity in the Waterloo-Wellington region by engaging residents in hands-on conservation efforts. Removing non-native plants such as Periwinkle, Daylily, Garlic Mustard and Buckthorn improves habitat by creating space for the native plants that wildlife depend on. This is great opportunity for “Wildlifers” to connect with nature, bond with community members and become more familiar with the flora of southern Ontario.


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Trade

Canadian international merchandise trade, July 2018

Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $743 million in June to $114 million in July, the smallest deficit since the most recent surplus in December 2016. Total exports rose 0.8%, mainly on higher crude oil prices. Total imports declined 0.4%, due to fewer aircraft imports. In real (or volume) terms, exports were down 0.8%. Export prices rose 1.6%, and were behind the export gain in nominal terms. This price increase was primarily attributable to higher prices of energy products. Total import volumes fell 1.1% in July, and prices were up 0.7%.


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EVENTS


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September 6, 2018

The rare Charitable Research Reserve and WWF Partner to Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants

The rare Charitable Research Reserve and World Wildlife Fund Canada have partnered to make more room for biodiversity in the Waterloo-Wellington region by engaging residents in hands-on conservation efforts. Removing non-native plants such as Periwinkle, Daylily, Garlic Mustard and Buckthorn improves habitat by creating space for the native plants that wildlife depend on. This is great opportunity for “Wildlifers” to connect with nature, bond with community members and become more familiar with the flora of southern Ontario.


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September 16, 2018



Hike 4 Heart

Come gather with individuals, families and St. Mary’s staff who understand the challenging journey of heart disease. Together we celebrate the joy of recovery and acknowledge the resilience of our “Heart Hero’s”!


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September 20, 2018

United Way Waterloo Region Communities Campaign Kick-off March of 100 Umbrellas

It all starts with one step

Join us on September 20th as we march along King St. to raise awareness and funds for United Way Waterloo Region Communities. The 3km March of 1,000 Umbrellas will begin at Waterloo Public Square in Waterloo, ON and end at Carl Zehr Square in Kitchener, ON. Whether you walk the entire route or join us at point along the way, show your local love on September 20, 2018 and help ensure support is available in our community for those who need it most.


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September 29, 2018

City of Waterloo announces lineup for new festival of light, art, and technology

The City of Waterloo announced the lineup for its newest festival, Lumen, a festival of light, art, and technology, which will illuminate the urban space and engage audiences in a hands-on and participatory experience. Lumen will take place in various locations throughout uptown Waterloo on September 29 from 6 to 11 p.m. The festival will feature 25+ visual, interactive, new media, and performance based installations from local and nationally acclaimed multidisciplinary artists.


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October 6 - 13, 2018

Raise your Steins this October

Dust off your lederhosen and dirndls and grab your Tyrolean hats. Oktoberfest is back and Bingeman's is celebrating it's 50th anniversary of Oktoberfest

As the biggest Bavarian festival this side of Munich, Oktoberfest is a beloved autumn tradition in Kitchener — and Bingemans has been a part of the experience since 1968. Home to the largest festhalle, Kool Haus, Bingemans is looking to outdo themselves once again for the 2018 celebrations. “Over the years we’ve been listening to what our guests want and are aiming to provide the best experience for everyone,” says Mark Bingeman, President of Bingemans. “This includes making our tents bigger, adding another tent and expanding our beer selections. We’re really excited about this year’s Oktoberfest events.”

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October 13, 2018l

China's and Canada's Leading Innovation Leaders Converge on Sci Innovation Festival 2018

This Year Marks the Appearance of Internationally Renowned Chinese Pianist Lang Lang

Sino-Canada International Innovation Centre (Sci Innovation Centre) announced the launch of the Innovation Festival of Toronto and Shenzhen commencing on Saturday, October 13, 2018, in Toronto. The one-day event is jointly sponsored by the Shenzhen Municipal Government and the City of Toronto. The Sci Innovation Festival 2018 will be another international innovation summit connecting policy and economy, capital and technology with thousands of guests. The event is co-organized by the Canada Confederation of Shenzhen Associations (CCSA) and Shenzhen Community Association of Canada (SCAC), which is a newly established subsidiary association of the Sci Innovation Centre. The Shenzhen Community Association aims to enrich its members' lives and help them adapt to Canadian society.


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October 24, 2018

Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Southwestern
Conference

Bringing the Latest OH&S Updates to Your Community

The Canadian health and safety landscape is constantly changing. Whether it’s new legislation, innovations in technology, quality and safety standards, changing demographics or workplace culture, today’s health and safety community is challenged with staying ahead of the curve.


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November 8, 2018

Discover Rockway - Gr. 7-12 Open House

This event is an opportunity to see Rockway in action, meet the faculty, administration, parents and students and see why Rockway might be the right place for your family. Join us! Register at Rockway.ca

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November 13, 2018

SVP Waterloo Region Kicks Off Perfect Pitch Workshop for Charities Wrap Up Event

It’s not just tech companies that need to know how to pitch. Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region (SVPWR) announced the first pitch workshop for charities in Waterloo Region: Perfect Pitch. The Perfect Pitch workshop kicks off in September, and six charities will receive guidance from dedicated coaches from the business and tech/startup worlds in Waterloo Region. These charities will build their ability to tell their organization’s story with power and clarity. The workshop series will wrap up with an exciting Perfect Pitch event on Tuesday, November 13. That evening, the charities will take the stage in front of community members and judges with real cash awards on the line. For extra fun, during the evening, each audience member can decide which of the six charities receives proceeds from their admission ticket.





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Copyright, 2018